Equipping God's People to Create Missional Culture

A Missional View of the Doctrine of Election – The Series

How a Robust View of Election Leads to a Holistic Gospel and Meaningful Missional Engagement

The basic goal of this series of posts is to demonstrate that as we recover a missional view of election, with the help of Lesslie Newbigin, in contrast to the historic Calvinist view of election, as understood by Wayne Grudem (and others like John Piper), we will discover how the “logic of election” is congruent with the universality of God’s love and the nature of salvation as cosmic, corporate and personal, thus be able to engage in mission more faithfully.

Part I: Introduction
The importance of the doctrine of election for mission.

Part II: Missional Modes of Theological Reflection
Why we need to engage doctrine with a missional hermeneutic.

Part III: Starting Points (Key Questions and Key Texts)
Where we start often shapes where we end.

Part IV: The Purpose of Election
Which question comes first, the why or the what for?

Part V: Election and Judgment
How are we to understand judgment in light of election?

Part VI: My Assessment
Why I consider Newbigin’s understanding of the doctrine of election superior to Grudem’s  (and John Piper).

Part VII: Conclusion
The God we worship is a choosing God and a missionary God, and as those who have been chosen and blessed, seek to carry that blessing to the world through power of the Holy Spirit, we will bear fruit and glorify God.

10 Responses to A Missional View of the Doctrine of Election – The Series

  1. Rick Cruse says:

    Which Newbigin book would you recommend I read first? Thanks for this series. It’s challenged and stretched me and friends who’ve connected via my FB comments.

  2. JR Woodward says:


    I would say start with “The Open Secret” and then read “The Gospel in a Pluralist Society”. That will give you a good start with Newbigin. Glad to hear you have been stretched through the series and thanks again for your interaction. Peace.

  3. Rick Cruse says:

    Thanks. Just bought the first one for my Kindle.

  4. Rick Cruse says:

    Question, does your community – or any to which you’re connected – have any ministry among the working poor, i.e., those trapped in low wage, minimum wage jobs?

  5. JR Woodward says:


    Great. You will have to let me know how you like it. And yes, we have ministry to the working poor. Why do you ask?

  6. Rick Cruse says:

    I ask because, in a real way, I’ve joined them. Upon returning the live in the USA after 25 years and not finding (actually a blessing) a church position, I discovered that 40+ years of vocational ministry supremely qualified me for not much else. Thus, I’m working two part-time, not much more than minimum wage jobs to support my wife and me. To be honest, we’re doing quite well as we live rent-free with my mother-in-law. Plus, my wife is now working. The point, however, is that I find myself right alongside a whole new tribe, the working poor. I’m seeking the Lord’s empowerment and insight to know how to be Jesus among them.

  7. Rick Cruse says:

    Feel free to move this conversation to email unless there is value to a more public setting.

  8. JR Woodward says:

    Okay. Just sent you an email through facebook.

  9. JR,

    Sorry that I’m late to this conversation.

    I was wondering if you have all the articles in one file or website?

  10. JR Woodward says:


    Go to contacts and send me an email and I will send you a pdf file of it.

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